Put aside to ponder later

My restless mind is only half on holidays.

I half mourn quietly for an old lady in Schmoebs who died as old ladies do everywhere, but not as young. For a kid there who I know will break my heart by growing up as all kids do everywhere, but not as fast.

I only half believe I’m moving to the city. I’m half nervous, half excited about unrushed family time, frequent friends, dates, dancing, wearing impractical fabrics and culturally insensitive clothing.

I make half plans to be an artist, a writer, a performer.

I half write stories about cute boys I sit next to on planes or awkward campfires with impractical Frenchmen or Russell and his revolution.

I half wonder what happened to me way out west? Who have I become after five years in the desert? How am I going to answer well-meaning city hipsters who ask me what I think about ‘indigenous issues?’ What will I wear to these conversations and will my accent sound too broad?

All those things I half saw and half felt, do they mean anything?

“There are hippy lefty socialist douchebags and there are conservative redneck douchebags. I never really stuck my neck out. I tried to be a sponge, just soaking it all up. I tried to just get on with it. Just do something. Sometimes too much thinking makes it impossible to act.”

That’s from my blog in 2009, in Alice Springs.

Perhaps now I’m leaving the desert it is finally time to think.

Dusk in Schmoebs

Dusk in Schmoebs


6 thoughts on “Put aside to ponder later

    • My approach has thus far been to remember they’re ‘well meaning’ and that people are ignorant mostly because they’re simply limited by their own experiences. Are you leaving Alice? We can compare notes!

      • I absolutely agree. My difficulty is talking about it in a way that doesn’t make me sound like I’m trying to be either a martyr or a cynic. I’ve found that the complexity of the situation is incredibly difficult to express accurately and I’m often left feeling that people have totally misunderstood me. Have you not had that experience on trips back to the city during the five years?Another key thought – all (most) of the bright eyed young professionals that go out there, we mostly leave after a time. I wonder what those who stay all their lives think of us. To them, maybe we are the leftie douchebags? I left Alice 2 years ago (on 6th Dec). On reflection, my thoughts about Alice haven’t changed much, but my understanding of who I was when I was there has.

  1. Totally. No matter how I respond in those situations, I always over-analyse it later and feel I could have done it better. It is weird, I only lived there for three years but I do feel like an ‘ambassador’ or ‘spokesperson’ because A) I want to be, I had positive experiences I have a great desire to share, B) I feel like I should be a counterpoint to the negative perceptions around, and C) people assume I understand what’s going on in Alice and that I have a fully formed opinion on why things are the way are. But then, I don’t read policy documents or even the newspaper, so what kind of advocate am I?

    Yeah, I probably was a leftie douche when I first came up, but not as much as the bus full of Socialist Alliance crew I was referring to, who rocked up to a Town Council meeting when the new by-laws came in, only to be shot down by Alison Anderson with “You don’t even live here!” I definitely hardened up, my optimism is a bit more pragmatic nowadays.

    The few ‘stayers’ that I know don’t think harshly of us FIFOs, they accept the transience of the town and know that we’ll be back some day, or like me, several times a year…

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